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Harry Dunn's parents meet Priti Patel as Home Office considers extraditing suspect
23 December 2019, 06:53
The family of Harry Dunn were "incredibly reassured" to meet with Home Secretary Priti Patel, as her office considers extraditing the US suspect charged with causing the teenager's death by dangerous driving, their spokesman said.
Ms Patel sat down with Harry's father Tim Dunn on Sunday just days after the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said it had authorised Northamptonshire Police to charge US citizen Anne Sacoolas.
Harry's mother Charlotte Charles did not attend the meeting in north Oxfordshire.
The CPS has said that extradition proceedings had started, noting that the "Home Office is responsible for considering our request and deciding whether to formally issue this through US diplomatic channels".
Speaking after the meeting Ms Patel said she was "very grateful" to the family for meeting her during such a difficult and traumatic time.
She added: "It was a nice opportunity to hear from them, obviously about what they have been experiencing, what they have been going through, and to reassure them at what has been a very difficult and traumatic time for them."
Dunn family spokesman Radd Seiger said the family were reassured by Ms Patel's visit that the case would be dealt with under the law.
He added: "We feel incredibly reassured that this whole saga will be dealt with under the rule of law.
"You hear from some of the most senior politicians in this country that this will be dealt with under the rule of law, absolutely you go to bed feeling reassured."
Sacoolas, 42, and her family had been based at RAF Croughton in Northamptonshire. She sparked public outrage after her car allegedly hit the 19-year-old on August 27 and she claimed diplomatic immunity due to her husband's job.
It was only after she left the UK on a military flight directly from the air base that the Foreign Office wrote to the family to say immunity in her case was not valid.
After the Dunn family's campaign - which included a trip to the White House - the CPS brought the charge, a decision the US government labelled "disappointing" and "unhelpful".
The meeting was also attended by South Northamptonshire MP Andrea Leadsom, who is the family's constituency MP.
Ms Leadsom said there was a "clear process" of extradition and it was vital to get justice for Harry.
She added: "As the Home Secretary has made clear we have a very clear process in the UK, there's a clear extradition treaty and it is absolutely vital that we get justice for Harry."
Mr Seiger said the family was angry that Sacoolas was back in the US and felt she should never have been allowed to leave.
He added: "They don't understand why this lady is back in America, they feel she should never have been allowed to go and should come back.
"This lady is absolutely entitled to a fair trial, she is guilty of nothing at the moment."